Crime
The accused had attacked the driver on the highway and tied him up to a tree, before emptying the contents of the truck into another vehicle and escaping.

Months after a truck carrying cellphones worth Rs 4.8 crore was robbed after the driver was thrashed by unidentified assailants, the Andhra Pradesh police have managed to crack the case.

The incident took place near Dagadarthi village in Nellore district in February when a consignment of mobile phones, belonging to Xiaomi, was being transported from Sri city in Nellore to Kolkata. 

The Nellore police said that an inter-state gang of six people from Madhya Pradesh, which is notorious for highway robberies, has been arrested. Police said that the gang was known for violent crimes that involved attacking and killing people while carrying out such robberies.

In February, the truck, which was carrying Xiaomi mobiles was stopped near Gowravaram village. The accused attacked the driver and tied him to a tree and proceeded to empty the contents of the truck into another truck.

Locals, who rescued the truck driver, reportedly found the empty truck near a roadside dhaba on the Chennai-Kolkata national highway and informed the police about the incident.

Cracking the case

Four teams were formed to crack the case and CCTV footage from as many as 80 to 90 toll plazas was analysed. The Andhra Pradesh police said that for the case, they took assistance from their counterparts in Hyderabad, Kolkata, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh.

"We have taken information from all other states with regard to where this gang has operated and understood their modus operandi and we were able to zero down and nab the accused in Madhya Pradesh," District Superintendent of Police (SP) Aishwarya Rastogi told reporters. 

Police said that the gang had started its attempts to rob trucks in December 2018 and had made three failed attempts. A truck driver was killed in Anantapur and in Chittoor, after an unsuccessful effort was made to rob a truck. One attempt was made in Vellore of Tamil Nadu, the police said.

Investigation officials suspect that the stolen mobiles were sold off in Bangladesh after crossing the international border. 

"They sold the phones in Bangladesh as they did not want to have any trouble with investigation agencies who could not directly operate in Bangladesh," the SP said.

Police said that the main accused was arrested in Hyderabad, from whom it was learnt that the goods were passed through Nellore, Hyderabad, Nagpur, Indore and from there to Kolkata via Uttar Pradesh, before finally landing in Bangladesh.

As far as cracking the case is concerned, police said that the accused had not left a single piece of evidence behind except a car without a number plate.

"A decorative ribbon on a car, which had a minute clue about the showroom from where it was sold was our only clue. We started investigation and traced it to Madhya Pradesh, following which we questioned several people and finally arrested the accused," the SP said.

The first arrest in the case happened in May this year, after which the investigation gained momentum.

The SP said that a few people were absconding but added that they were identified and would be arrested soon. A total of Rs 70 lakh in cash, eight cell phones and a car were seized from the accused. 

 

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